Abstract

Absorption of electromagnetic radiation by absorptive dielectric spheres such as snow grains in the near-infrared part of the solar spectrum cannot be neglected when radiative properties of snow are computed. Thus a new, to our knowledge, geometrical-optics code is developed to compute scattering and absorption cross sections of large dielectric particles of arbitrary complex refractive index. The number of internal reflections and transmissions are truncated on the basis of the ratio of the irradiance incident at the nth interface to the irradiance incident at the first interface for a specific optical ray. Thus the truncation number is a function of the angle of incidence. Phase functions for both near- and far-field absorption and scattering of electromagnetic radiation are calculated directly at any desired scattering angle by using a hybrid algorithm based on the bisection and Newton-Raphson methods. With these methods a large sphere’s absorption and scattering properties of light can be calculated for any wavelength from the ultraviolet to the microwave regions. Assuming that large snow meltclusters (1-cm order), observed ubiquitously in the snow cover during summer, can be characterized as spheres, one may compute absorption and scattering efficiencies and the scattering phase function on the basis of this geometrical-optics method. A geometrical-optics method for sphere (GOMsphere) code is developed and tested against Wiscombe’s Mie scattering code (MIE0) and a Monte Carlo code for a range of size parameters. GOMsphere can be combined with MIE0 to calculate the single-scattering properties of dielectric spheres of any size.

© 2003 Optical Society of America

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